Cleveland Police and Crime Panel Minutes

Date:
Tuesday, 6th July, 2021
Time:
5.00 p.m.
Place:
The Auditorium, Baptist Tabernacle, The Square, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1TE
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Tony Riordan (Chair), Cllr Barrie Cooper, Cllr Chris Gallacher, Cllr Lynn Hall (Substitute for Cllr Stefan Houghton), Mr Paul McGrath, Cllr Steve Nelson, Cllr Stephen Picton, Mayor Andy Preston, Cllr Amy Prince, Mr Luigi Salvati and Cllr Norma Stephenson O.B.E.
Officers:
Julie Butcher, Peter Bell, Gary Woods, Michael Henderson, John Devine (Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council).
In Attendance:
Steve Turner (PCC), Lisa Oldroyd, Rachelle Kipling (OPCC), Cllr Bob Cook (Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council).
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Stefan Houghton, Cllr Tom Mawston and Cllr Carl Quartermain.
Item Description Decision
Public
PCP
1/21
APPOINTMENT OF CHAIR 2021/22
RESOLVED that Councillor Tony Riordan be appointed Chair of the Panel for the Municipal Year 2021/22.
PCP
2/21
APPOINTMENT OF VICE CHAIR 2021/22
RESOLVED that Councillor Barrie Cooper be appointed Vice Chair of the Panel for the Municipal Year 2021/22.
PCP
3/21
WELCOME BY THE CHAIR
 
PCP
4/21
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Councillor Norma Stephenson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of any reference at the meeting to the HAT Project as her son was employed by the HAT Service.
PCP
5/21
MINUTES OF THE MEETINGS HELD ON 4 MARCH AND 3 JUNE 2021 AND ATTENDANCE MATRIX
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings held on 4 March and 3 June 2021 be approved as a correct record and the Attendance Matrix for 2020/21 and 2021/22 be noted.
PCP
6/21
MEMBERS’ QUESTIONS TO THE COMMISSIONER
 
PCP
7/21
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER 2020/21
RESOLVED that the Annual Report of the Commissioner 2020/21 be noted.
PCP
8/21
CLEVELAND POLICE AND CRIME PLAN - PRESENTATION
RESOLVED that:-

1. The presentation be received.

2. The comments made by the Panel be noted.
PCP
9/21
COMMISSIONER’S UPDATE - VIDEO UPDATE
RESOLVED that the video be noted.
PCP
10/21
DECISIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
PCP
11/21
COMMISSIONER’S SCRUTINY PROGRAMME
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
PCP
12/21
POLICE AND CRIME PANEL ANNUAL REPORT 2020/21
RESOLVED that the Cleveland Police and Crime Panel Annual Report 2020/21 be agreed.
PCP
13/21
SCRUTINY WORK PROGRAMME OF THE PANEL 2021/22 AND PANEL TRAINING NEEDS
RESOLVED that:-

1. The following Panel Members (one from each local authority area plus one non-political independent Member) form the Task and Finish Group for the Review of Local Policing Precept:-
Councillor Chris Gallacher
Councillor Barrie Cooper
Councillor Steve Nelson
Councillor Amy Prince
Luigi Salvati

2. The proposed future plan for the Panel’s review of Cleveland Police Communications Strategy (Task & Finish) be agreed.

3. Authorisation be given for contact to be made with the scrutiny functions of other Cleveland Police area authorities regarding the consideration of information-gathering akin to that which is being initiated in Stockton-on-Tees around Police and Ward Member communications, which can then feed into the resumed overarching PCP (Task and Finish) work.

4. The following three replacement members (one each from Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, and Redcar and Cleveland) to be part of the Panel’s Task and Finish Group once its work on the Cleveland Police Communications Strategy resumes later in 2021-2022:-

Councillor Chris Gallacher
Councillor Barrie Cooper
Councillor Stephen Picton

5. The training provider Frontline Consulting be booked for a date as soon as possible to train the new Members of the Panel and that the training may be used as a refresh session for other Members.
PCP
14/21
PUBLIC QUESTIONS
 
PCP
15/21
FORWARD PLAN
RESOLVED that the Forward Plan be noted.
5.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.

Preamble

ItemPreamble
PCP
1/21
Moved by Councillor Lynn Hall, seconded by Councillor Stephen Picton that Councillor Tony Riordan be appointed Chair of the Panel for the Municipal Year 2021/22.

A vote took place and it was agreed that Councillor Tony Riordan be appointed Chair of the Panel for the Municipal Year 2021/22.
PCP
2/21
Moved by Councillor Barrie Cooper, seconded by Councillor Norma Stephenson that Councillor Barrie Cooper be appointed Vice Chair of the Panel for the Municipal Year 2021/22.

A vote took place and it was agreed that Councillor Barrie Cooper be appointed Vice Chair of the Panel for the Municipal Year 2021/22.
PCP
3/21
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and introductions were given.

The Chair congratulated Steve Turner following his election as Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner and gave commiserations to other candidates that had not been successful.
PCP
5/21
Consideration was given to the minutes of the meetings held on 4 March and 3 June 2021 and the Attendance Matrix for 2020/21 and 2021/22.

Regarding the minutes of the meeting held on 2 February 2021 Councillor Amy Prince requested that the Hartlepool Borough Council representatives on the Panel receive a copy of the information that had been requested by the former Hartlepool Borough Council representative Councillor Lee Cartwright on the issue of charging Hartlepool Borough Council for floorspace at Hartlepool Police Station.
PCP
6/21
The following question had been submitted by Luigi Salvati for response by the PCC:-

“The new Commissioner is withdrawing funding for the assisted drug scheme which has cut known crime to spend in other areas, how will this be replaced?

The result I fear will be an increase in crime resulting in figures going up (reflects on the Chief Constable I think), the Commissioner sites it is down to local health authority, who I believe may have not accounted for this in their budget, is it not irresponsible of the Commissioner to take this action realising the consequences and pushing out the situation to others and washing his hands of it without a plan B as it were?”

The PCC responded with:-

“The HAT Programme is contentious, I was elected on a manifesto that I would look for alternative funding sources for the HAT programme. What I have done since taking charge in May this year and what I can report is that alternative funding has been sourced for the HAT Programme. There will be an announcement about this issue shortly. The HAT Programme is funded until 30 September 2021 and this will not be taken away. Funding has been secured until March 2022. What happens after that will depend on a fuller assessment that will be carried out by Teesside University of the HAT Programme. I have read the assessment so far and some of the comments that you have made don’t bear up to scrutiny. The HAT Programme has been a success for the individuals involved but the crime statistics in Middlesbrough need to be scrutinised more closely.”

With the agreement of the Commissioner the Chair allowed some further comments and questions of this issue. These comments and questions could be summarised as follows:-
- In the Annual Report of the Commissioner it talks about the early findings of the HAT Programme that read like a health report rather than a police report. A lot of it is anecdotal evidence that shows that a lot of the clients were serious offenders who stopped committing crime once they started the HAT Programme but there is no statistics to back this claim up. The Commissioner responded that a lot of evidence is anecdotal at the moment and we need more firm evidence to back this anecdotal evidence up.

The following question was asked by Councillor Barrie Cooper for response by the PCC:-

“It has been brought to my attention that children have been swimming in the River Tees near where people are using jet-skis, please can this be looked into as a matter of urgency and that the PCC look into the possibility of a River Tees Safety Organisation?”

The PCC responded with:-

“Thank you Councillor Cooper, I will look into this issue.”
PCP
7/21
Consideration was given to a report that informed the Panel, key
stakeholders and the residents of Cleveland about the achievements of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) over the last financial year before being published on the Police and Crime Commissioner’s website.

The Report covered the following key areas:-

- Introduction by Acting Chief Executive Lisa Oldroyd
- Key achievements at a glance
- Police scrutiny and accountability
- Objective 1: Investing in Police
- Objective 2: A Better Deal for Victims
- Objective 3: Tackling Offending and Re-Offending
- Objective 4: Working Together to Make a Safer Cleveland
- Objective 5: Securing the Future of our Communities

Members discussed the effect the pandemic had had on the crime statistics across the Cleveland area and how this had been reflected nationally.

Regarding ecins its was noted that the review was welcomed and the outcome of the review would be brought back to a future meeting of the Panel.

It was noted that by the end of 2021/22 Cleveland Police would have all its additional Police Officers in place 2 years ahead of schedule. This was bringing its own challenges as the additional Police Officers were still very inexperienced. There were still many challenges within Cleveland Police including the amount of Police Officers that were involved in historical crimes. A clear strategy would be put in place regarding Neighbourhood Policing as this was fundamental to everything that the Commissioner was trying to achieve.
PCP
8/21
The Commissioner gave the Panel a presentation on the Cleveland Police and Crime Plan. The Commissioner outlined that he must have a Police and Crime Plan in place by March 2022. The aim was to present his draft plan at this meeting and then the consultation process would commence the next day. The Plan would evolve and adapt and then the final Plan would be brought to the Panel in September 2021. The presentation covered the following key areas:-

- Elected on a large mandate
• Engaged with a wide range of individuals to develop manifesto commitments
• Accountable to the public

- Performance focused approach
• Clear outcomes, key deliverables, and measures

- 10-point plan
• Term of office
• Annual delivery plan

- Consultation
• Chief Constable
• Due regard to Community Safety Partnership Priorities
• Public views

The Panel was given the opportunity to ask questions and make comments on the presentation and Commissioner was given the opportunity to respond. This session could be summarised as follows:-

- The possibility of live streaming meetings of the Panel was being looked at by support staff before it is reported to the Panel.
- With regard the performance figures it was noted that the figures would be measurable and it was the Panels role to scrutinise those figures. The figures would have to be very specific and the level of detail would be included in the final Plan.
- Some incidents that involved serious violence were not reported as it involved criminal gangs who did not want to be admitted to hospital.
- In year funding was not often given to police forces.
- More use of cameras should be looked at in areas of high crime.
- The Commissioner reported that he would look at a programme for older people and how they can use the internet safely.
- The ‘stop and search’ figures would be looked at by the Commissioner regarding any sort of profiling.
- The right kit and equipment was needed for Police Officers as there was an increase in serious violent crime. Where it was appropriate more Armed Response Officers were needed. An appropriate response was needed that fitted the crime that was on-going. It was note that the Chief Constable had identified this as an issue following his appointment.
- Cleveland Police are looking into funding for facial recognition.
- Every Borough will have its own drone capability, and this should help tackle the issue of off-road motorbikes. Sergeant Gary Cookland was praised for his recent work tackling this issue. DNA tagging would also be used more to tackle this issue.
- Durham should be looked at regarding their sexual violence figures and there are opportunities across the North East to look at various challenges.
- If any member of the Panel knows of a community or focus group let the OPCC know so they can be consulted on the Plan.
PCP
9/21
The Commissioner showed a video that was available to view on YouTube that gave an update on his work following his appointment as Commissioner.

It was noted that the Chief Constable would not be attending future meetings of the Panel unless he was specifically requested to do so.
PCP
10/21
Consideration was given to a report that provided an update on decisions made by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and the Forward Plan.

The Police and Crime Commissioner made all decisions unless specifically delegated within the Scheme of Consent/Delegation. All decisions demonstrated that they were soundly based on relevant information and that the decision-making process was open and transparent.

In addition, a forward plan was included and published on the PCC website which included items requiring a decision in the future. This was attached to the report.

Each decision made by the PCC was recorded on a decision record form with supporting background information appended. Once approved it was published on the PCC website.

Decisions relating to private/confidential matters would be recorded; although, it may be appropriate that full details were not published.

There were no decisions to report to this meeting.

It was noted that the Commissioner would be doing more to tackle racism and hate crime in Cleveland including more education and looking at communities.
PCP
11/21
Consideration was given to a report on the Commissioners Scrutiny Programme.

The report provided the Panel with an update on the development of a new refreshed approach to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s (PCC’s) scrutiny programme.

Holding the Chief Constable to account was the key duty of the Police & Crime
Commissioner and must encompass all the functions of the Chief Constable and functions of those who were under the Chief Constable’s direction and control.

The PCC was establishing a range of scrutiny approaches to engage with the Chief Constable and hold Cleveland Police to account. These take place on a daily, weekly and monthly schedule both formally and informally and included a range of meetings, data and feedback from partners and the public.

A scrutiny handbook was being produced which would clearly and transparently set out the approach to scrutiny and how the public and partners can support the PCC with this.

The PCC would be developing a scrutiny programme which would challenge Cleveland Police in a firm but fair way. There was an expectation that the meetings would be open and honest. In order to hold the force to account the Scrutiny programme would involve the following:-

a. Monthly meetings with the Force, with the format of the meetings being to
focus on a specific topic, raise questions and seek assurances. Minutes of
the meeting would be taken and the Force would be expected to provide updates on any questions raised at the meeting within 2 weeks. In the interests and openness and transparency these minutes would be published on the PCC
website. To support these meetings the PCC may wish to call on subject
matter experts to inform the key lines of questioning. For example Violence
against Women and Girls Panel (VAWG) may be used to support questioning
in relation to VAWG issues. In addition to this regular meetings would take place
with various departments within Cleveland Police which would also inform
questioning.

b. A Forward Work Programme for the monthly scrutiny meetings was being
developed with issues being raised to include for example: the Force
Control Room and Recruitment and Vacancies (this programme can be
shared with the Panel once it is fully developed).

c. Quarterly Performance meetings would also be held these meetings would be
specifically to hold the Force to account for the implementation of the
objectives within the Police and Crime Plan and to scrutinise police
performance.

In addition to the above the PCC would meet with the Chief Constable on a weekly basis and a headline note of the issues raised would be kept and published online.

Consideration was also being given to the development of public scrutiny panels, including a peoples panel which would be specifically to hold the Police and Crime Commissioner to account.

Members noted that the Scrutiny Handbook would be available for the next meeting of the Panel.
PCP
12/21
The Panel was presented with the Cleveland Police and Crime Panel Annual Report 2020/21.

The Annual Report covered the following key areas:-

- Role of the Police and Crime Panel
- Cleveland Police and Crime Panel Membership 2020/21
- Key Activities and Achievements
- Annual Report of the Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner
- Police and Crime Plan - Strategic Programme for 2020/2021
- Panel Training
- Review into the role of PCCs
- Resignation of the Police and Crime Commissioner
- Crimestoppers
- Victim Care and Advice Service (VCAS)
- National Police and Crime Panel Conference
- Task and Finish Scrutiny
- Update following the HMICFRS Integrated PEEL Assessment Report 2019
- Heroin Assisted Treatment (HAT) Programme - Evaluation Feedback
- Complaints
PCP
13/21
Consideration was given to a report that sought to set the Scrutiny Work Programme for 2021/22 and consider any training needs for the Panel.

The Panel was reminded of its role as scrutinising the actions and decisions of the Police and Crime Commissioner, thereby holding the PCC to account.

In addition, the Panel may wish to carry out one or more in-depth scrutiny reviews into a particular issue or concern. This may be a policy or performance issue in relation to priorities contained in the Police and Crime Plan.

Any additional work which the Panel may wish to undertake should be supportive and complementary to its statutory functions with the Panel acting as a critical friend; a supportive, but independent voice seeking to scrutinise the PCC in the interests of recommending appropriate changes and improvements. In addition, the work programme should avoid duplication and remain flexible and responsive.

It was, however, important that when identifying topics for additional work, the Panel considers the capacity and resources needed to carry out the investigation, to ensure that the review programme is manageable. It was also important to prioritise the issues identified, so that the work of the Panel was adding value.

The Panel was therefore asked to identify and consider suitable topics for scrutiny review during 2020/21. In selecting topics, the Panel may wish to consider whether:-

- there is public demand / a real need for the review
- there is a genuine opportunity through the reviews to influence policy and practice
- there is a clear focus for the review, recognising that going ‘deep and narrow’ can have more impact than ‘broad but shallow’

The review topics that were on the Work Programme was the review of Cleveland Police Communications Strategy and the Review of Local Policing Precept. The Panel were asked to consider the capacity and resources needed to carry out the review programme to ensure that it was manageable.

An update was given to the Panel on the ongoing task and finish review of Cleveland Police Communications Strategy and the proposed future plan for this piece of work which would see it being paused whilst Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council (and any other Local Authorities covered by the Cleveland patch who wished to do something similar) carried out a scrutiny review of Police Communications in Stockton-on-Tees, the findings of which could be fed back into the resumed PCP task and finish work.

In July 2020, to further contribute to its statutory function in supporting the Police and Crime Commissioner in the effective exercise of their duties, the Panel agreed to undertake a task and finish review of Cleveland Police Communications Strategy. The following Panel members were subsequently appointed to a Task and Finish Group to carry out this work:

• Councillor Steve Nelson (Chair) - Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
• Councillor Lee Cartwright - Hartlepool Borough Council
• Councillor Vera Rider - Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council
• Councillor Matthew Storey - Middlesbrough Borough Council

The Group held its first meeting on the 27th November 2020 and considered evidence from the Commissioner’s Officer for Communications and Information followed by the Head of Corporate Communications for Cleveland Police. Discussion points included the most effective methods of communication, the role of the PCC in operational announcements, partnership-working with wider stakeholders regarding communications, ensuring positive messages around policing are disseminated, and the use of social media.

A second meeting of the Group was intended for early-2021 but this had to be postponed due to the third COVID-19 national lockdown. Prior to a further meeting being arranged, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council (SBC) received a proposal for a Scrutiny Review of Police Communications in Stockton-on-Tees which would focus on communications within the Borough between Cleveland Police and Ward Members. This piece of work (to be undertaken by a Task and Finish Group comprised from the Council’s Crime and Disorder Select Committee) was subsequently approved by the Council’s Executive Scrutiny Committee.

As part of the preparations for the SBC Scrutiny Review of Police Communications in Stockton-on-Tees (Task & Finish) work, it was suggested that there may be benefit in completing the Council review first, which could then be used to inform the resumed PCP (Task & Finish) Cleveland Police Communications Strategy work in the latter-half of 2021. This approach could also provide an opportunity for the three other Local Authorities covered by the Cleveland PCP to collect similar information (if desired) and feed this into the resumed PCP review. Both the Chair of the Panel and the Chair of the Panel Task and Finish Group were subsequently consulted on this plan and indicated support for such an approach.

The scope and plan for the SBC Scrutiny Review of Police Communications in Stockton-on-Tees (Task & Finish) was agreed on the 17th June 2021 and was scheduled to be completed by November 2021.

Changes to the Panel membership following the recent elections meant that three of the four Task and Finish Group members were no longer represented on the Panel. As such, the Panel were asked to identify three replacement members (one each from Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council) to sit on the Cleveland Police Communications Strategy Task and Finish Group once its work resumes.

The matter of the local policing precept proposals had been reviewed annually and subject to amendment continues to be scrutinised by a Task and Finish Group in order to facilitate sufficient time and analysis to the financial arrangements of the PCC and commissioned services. The number of agenda items for a full Police and Crime Panel meeting might preclude sufficient scrutiny of the local policing precept set, and therefore in recent years a Task and Finish Group had undertaken this work on behalf of the full Panel. This review would report in February 2022.

On the issue of training Members of the Panel were last trained on 10 September 2020 by the external training providers Frontline Consulting. The training took place remotely and Members found this training extremely informative. New Members of the Panel had received a copy of the Cleveland Police and Crime Panel Handbook but would still need training. It was therefore recommended that new Members receive the same training as used previously and that other Members of the Panel may use this training as a refresh session.
PCP
14/21
Members were informed that there were no Public Questions.
PCP
15/21
?????Members were presented with the Forward Plan for the Panel.

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